Wine is one of the most popular and celebrated alcoholic beverage. It’s a classic with endless couplets dedicated to it over centuries. It has an unique status of its own and at times noses can be turned if your knowledge is limited about the origins and the right use of this chic drink.
In this article I am trying to share some basic information that will go a long way to make you comfortable in the midst of the connoisseurs while you enjoy this heavenly drink. Let's call it a basic 'wine guide'.
As you start getting comfortable, your understanding of Wines will slowly and surely improve.There are many a reference of it being one of the most favoured drinks among the inhabitants of Heaven! No wonder mere mortals find it a bit difficult to comprehend it's nuances.
Simply put, a bottle of wine is classified according to the grapes it is made from. Fermented without adding sugars or enzymes, different variants are consumed differently across the globe. Aging the wine in decanters is an essential process in preserving its taste and enhancing the quality.
A fun fact states that the oldest evidence of wine consumption was traced in Georgia which dates back to the 6000 BC.
Because it is such a versatile drink with endless variants, one may find themselves overwhelmed while having to select one. I am hoping this wine guide will come handy.
Keep in mind- how wine is classified: In America, wine is labelled according to the grape whilst in Europe, wine is classified according to the region it originated from. Some wines may even be a blend of different kinds of grapes while its name is invented by the winery.
Red wine derives its name from the colour which comes from the black/red coloured grapes. These grapes are fermented with their skins on which is the main reason for the colour. Considered to be very good for the heart, the red wine is drunk at room temperature and paired with hearty red meats.
Three best bottles of red wine you should invest in are:
Yalumba – Barossa Shiraz Viognier: Deep in colour and complex in flavour, this variant originates in Australia and is extensively consumed in New Zealand as well. It is sweet and one can taste the floral notes of Viognier along with a hint of clove. The texture imparted by red fruits is soft yet very rich.
Cotes-du-Rhone Rouge: One of the masterpieces from France, this dark ruby coloured wine has an intricate flavour with notes of red fruits, raspberry jam and spices. Soft and fresh, this wine is one you should definitely stock up on.
Osborne – Solaz Tempranillo Cabernet Sauvignon: This beauty from Spain is a combination of Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon which are full-bodied and taste of sweet berries and mocha. It has earthy and spicy undertones to cut through the sweetness
Even though the price tags can be a bit alarming but its always good to know the guys at the top.
White wine is made from green or red grapes and the only difference is that these grapes are fermented without their skins. Consumed cold, this kind of wine is usually paired with lean protein and lighter meals.
The best varieties of white wine to invest in are:
Santa Margharita Pinot Grigio: This variety of dry white wine is from the vineyards in Italy and is known for pairing well with almost all kinds of food. Known for its versatility, this light yellow-coloured beauty has under-notes of green apples and exudes a strong aroma.
Fleur Du Cap Chardonnay: Originally from South Africa, this exotic variety of wine has a delicious buttery aroma while the fermentation in oak barrels is responsible for lending under-notes of smoke, vanilla, sweet spices and at times, tropical fruits.
Cupcake Reisling: Even though the cupcake vineyards are located in California, the Reisling is imported from Germany. The alluring hints of peach, honeydew, white cherry and lemon are what make it so special. This white variety is a perfect blend of sweetness and citrus flavours.
These sure are the table toppers but that is not to say the less pricey ones are any less. There are brilliant but affordable White wines coming out of South Africa, Chile & Argentina.
Also know as pink wine, Rose, is midway between the white and red varieties. It is made by letting red grapes macerate with their skins on for a short time and the longer the skin is left on, the darker the pink is. It is a crisp wine and pairs well with salads, seafood and pasta and is a perfect drink for summer.
Three best rose wine bottles to spend on are:
Stolpman Vineyards Estate Rosé: One of the best varieties from the heart of California, this wine is made by pure Grenache (red grape variant). Picked early to preserve freshness, these grapes lend to the wine a fresh taste of strawberry with a hint of salinity.
Chateau de Trinquevedel Rosé: Sourced from Tavel in France, a region popular for producing only rose variants, this wine is made by directly pressing the Grenache grapes. The wine is aged for over thirty years and boasts of raspberry flavours with notes of garrigue.
Viña Stoka Teran Rosé: This rose variant from Slovenia is a medium-coloured pink, astonishingly light and a perfect refreshing drink to chill with in summer. Made from Teran (Slovenian grape), this rose wine tastes of fresh strawberries.
Sparkling wine is a kind of wine which contains varying levels of carbon di-oxide to make it fizzy. The best known sparkling wine is champagne. The carbon di-oxide might be added during fermentation of the grapes or injected later during bottling. The bubbly beverage pairs beautifully with mushrooms, seafood, cheeses, fruit-based desserts and shortbread cookies.
Three sparkling wine bottles you should add to your collection are:
Manicardi Lambrusco Grasparossa: The blood-red version of the classic Italian Lambrusci is dark, rich and full-bodied. It is deep red in colour and tastes of plums and black-cherries and pairs beautifully with aged-cheese.
Chandon Étoile Brut: This bottle of aged wine is known for its mysterious flavours of nuts and caramel which envelopes with under notes of honey. Extremely smooth and bubbly, this wine is known to leave a lingering spiced apple taste in your mouth.
Gruet Grande Reserve: This blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir is a serious and layered wine. It is dry and very rich and the flavours are an amalgamation of bread, caramel and white chocolate along with notes of apples and citrus.
Now that we have established the league toppers and we know some of the different varieties let me tell you it doesn’t really end here. No wonder Wine is a culture in itself and every wine making region has its own fettish- glasses used to serve the drink, cheese its best paired with or even the time of the day it’s best drunk . The exact moment it makes it’s presence at the table if at all.
There’s still a lot to learn about Wines but hopefully we have some of the basics sorted out.
I love my wine and I love them all. Its not always about the name I like it for what it is and as for the time well its always WINE time.
Written byNiharika Nandi
Niharika Nandi is a media trainee who loves exploring the fields of photography and baking simultaneously. She’s a self-proclaimed professional bathroom singer and believes that caffeine runs through her veins. This adrenaline junkie loves to pen down a million thoughts gushing through her mind at any instant and is very vocal about LGBTQ rights.